Entertaining

12 Design Podcasts To Keep You Inspired at Home

Home52’s team shares their favorite home and design shows—and what makes each special.

August 30, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

When I (finally!) got to catch up with Home52’s editorial lead Arati Menon over an outdoor lunch in Brooklyn a couple weeks back, the conversation turned to podcasts—and especially home and design podcasts. As two interior-obsessed editors, it came as no surprise that Arati and I found ourselves comparing notes on our favorite shows, but what did surprise us both was how hard it is to find a good home podcast! With no designated ‘home’ or ‘design’ categories on the major podcast platforms, we both found it tricky to find new shows.

As Arati told me her faves, I was amazed to realize I’d never heard of most of them! Likewise, I had a few standbys that Arati had not yet discovered. We decided right then that we needed to make a list of our favorites and share it with the Home52 community. Below you’ll find 12 home and design podcasts that the Home52 team loves, plus a few that came highly recommended from trusted friends. But consider this a work-in-progress. As new shows launch (and we hope they will!) and as we discover new favorites, we’ll add them to the list!

1. The Business of Home

Hosted by Dennis Scully, this podcast is geared towards interior design professionals, but there’s a lot for everyday decor enthusiasts too. In Scully’s interviews with entrepreneurs and creatives, he often dives into the challenges facing the interior design community, like upholstery foam shortages or scaling a small business. “I love Business of Home for industry news and to learn about the people and personalities in the home and design world, especially as the pandemic continues to change how we define home," says Home52’s market editor Jada Wong.

2. The Chairish Podcast

Hosted by Michael Boodro, a longtime magazine editor (most recently the editor-in-chief of Elle Decor), this show is produced by the secondhand furniture retailer Chairish. In a twist on the usual format, Boodro often speaks to two designers, making for more of a conversation than an interview, and the show themes themselves are frequently conversation starters like, ‘Why is British style back?’ or ‘How do staging and design intersect?’

3. Design Time by Domino Magazine

We’ve got our fingers crossed that this podcast hosted by Domino magazine’s former editor in chief Jessica Romm Perez will continue with a new host. The weekly show features the same social media-savvy tastemakers you find in the pages of Domino, including Leanne Ford, Sarah Sherman Samuel, Athena Calderone, Shea McGee, and Amber Lewis. My friend Alison Mazurek, the author of the blog 600 Sq Ft and a Baby says, “I like hearing insights and trends from designers I admire, and it’s really nice to have the focus 100-percent on design.”

4. Clever, A Podcast About Design

Hosted by Design Milk founder Jaime Derringer and former TV host Amy Devers, this show looks at design through the lens of problem-solving and critical thinking via big thinkers like Jonathan Adler and Brian Chesky. “I enjoyed the episode where Jamie Derringer interviews furniture designer Jonathan Trayte and he talks about his childhood spent in a camper van in rural southern South Africa and how his early years influenced his work as a sculptor and designer,” says Arati.

5. Style Matters

This podcast came up several times when I asked friends about design podcasts, but funnily, no one could remember the show’s name! Instead, they’d refer to “the yellow couch show” or “the yellow chaise lounge.” Style Matters’s upbeat host, Zandra, gets interesting guests and let’s them tell their personal histories, but I personally wish that she’d ask the guests questions that scratch beneath the surface of their biographies.

6. Creating Your Happy Place

I discovered designer Rebecca West’s podcast after she asked me to be a guest on the show, but I became a regular listener because of the interesting guests West chooses. The founder of Seriously Happy Homes, West chooses guests that give me a new insight into home design (and I’ve been writing about homes for twenty years!); she has episodes on fascinating niche topics like the ins and outs of ADUs, wheelchair-friendly design, and how your Meyer-Briggs personality influences your style.

7. How to Decorate Podcast

My friend, design writer Sophie Donelson turned me on to Ballard’s show (when the former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful says something is worth a listen, you check it out!). As its name suggests this podcast focuses on how to decorate, and in break form the usual format, the show has three hosts, who all work at the catalog company Ballard. Fans of the show like the hosts’ casual, conversational style. The end of the show features Design Dilemmas where the hosts answer reader submitted questions, which I will confess I often skip.

8. The Money Pit Home Improvement Podcast

“Home ownership is truly just fixing things 24/7 and this podcast is a fun, lighthearted way to learn about DIYs, so you don’t get conned by contractors,” says Jada. The hosts Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete answer listeners' real-life questions. Plus, there’s also a bit of news and trends.

9. The Great Indoors

A winning combination of practical renovating and decorating advice combined with interviews with creatives and design industry news, The Great Indoors is another of Arati’s favorites. “The best part though is the rapport shared between designers and friends Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson-Smyth—they have such different personalities and styles, but there's humor and harmony in their disagreement,” she says.

10. The Modern House Podcast

The Modern House is part real estate agency, part content publisher, and as of last year, a podcast producer (and it is also consistently one of Arati’s top five Instagram follows). The show has a satisfying structure: In each episode they ask the guest to pick their three favourite homes from anywhere in the world and discuss why they love them. Plus, this newbie show is already well-liked with an average rating of 4.9 on Apple podcasts.

11. 99-percent invisible

The title of this show refers to how design is everywhere but rarely noticed. Roman Mars explores “the process and power of design and architecture,” but it’s so much more than that! Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Christopher Borrelli accurately described it as really being “about the difference between what you see and a designer sees, what you see and an architect sees, what you see and an engineer sees.”

12. Design Matters With Debbie Millman

This is one of the first podcasts I ever listened to, and it is still a favorite. Launched in 2005, Debbie Millman’s show is often credited as the first podcast about design. Millman’s guests are usually performers, artists, and other non-interior creatives, but her deep dives into creative lives will appear to design lovers of all kinds. (I also loved it when Tim Ferris interviewed Debbie on his show.)

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“So happy to see 99 Percent Invisible on this list. Longtime listener.”
— Emily T.
Comment

Of course, there are also podcasts we wish would return. Arati, a self-confessed cleaning-obsessed person, craves more episodes of Ask a Clean Person with Jolie Kerr. My friend decorator Matthew Kowles says he loved Paloma Contreras’s show The Style Files because Contreras was such an engaging interviewer. Personally, I enjoyed tuning into Young House Love Has a Podcast, which felt like dropping in to John and Sherry chatting at home (and I’m not the only one who loved this show, it has a rating of 4.9 and 8.2K(!) reviews on Apple podcasts).

Your turn: What home design podcasts do you love? Are there ones that went away that you hope will come back? Are there ones you wish existed?

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Laura Fenton

Written by: Laura Fenton

Laura Fenton is the No Space Too Small columnist at Food52. The author of The Little Book of Living Small, she covers home, design, and sustainability. Laura lives in Jackson Heights, Queens in a 690-square foot apartment with her husband and son. You can follow her on Instagram @laura.alice.fenton.

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Emily T. September 1, 2021
So happy to see 99 Percent Invisible on this list. Longtime listener.
 
bekah August 30, 2021
I love How to Decorate and Dear Alice!